Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Final Phase of Census 2010 will start on May 1, 2010

Results of this year’s census will impact federal funding for next ten years

If you are one of the tens of thousands who did not return your Census 2010 questionnaire, expect a visit soon from a census taker. Starting Saturday, May 1, 2010, the Census Bureau will begin the final phase of Census 2010.
Census workers will be visiting households to help residents complete the ten question form.

“These door-to-door follow-up efforts are an investment in the quality of the Census, which will impact us all for the next ten years,” said Cathy Lacy, Denver Census Regional Director. She reminded residents that the Census is mandated to count everyone regardless of whether they are citizens or not.

“For us,” she added, “it doesn’t matter how hard it is to reach someone—what matters is that we reach everyone.”

During the first half of the 2010 Census, 72 per cent of all residents in the country returned the questionnaires they received in the mail or had been hand delivered. This equaled the rate for the last decennial in 2000.

The regional director asked residents to “open your door” to the census takers. “Census takers are your neighbors—people hired from your community to make sure your area gets an accurate count,” she said. An accurate count, she pointed out, will mean that the more than $435 billion distributed annually in federal funding will be available for services needed in all communities. Federal funds are used for hospitals, roads, schools and centers for employment, for seniors and for veterans.

Data from the once-in-a-decade census also is used for political representation at the national, state, county and city levels of governments.

All census takers will have an official badge with an emblem from the U.S. Department of Commerce and a tote bag with printed information. If residents have questions about the identification of the census taker, field staff or the enumeration process, they are encouraged to contact their local census office.

Enumerators will never ask for any financial information, citizenship status or a Social Security number. All information collected will be kept confidential. All census employees take a lifetime oath to protect the information under penalty of federal law that includes imprisonment up to five years and a fine up to $250,000.

“By opening your door to our census takers, you are opening your door to the future,” Lacy said.

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